Being obese has been proven by numerous of studies to lower masculine hormones such as Testosterone and DHT. Carrying excess body fat is one of the easiest ways to cause havoc on your hormones.

This is a fact.

Hormones such as testosterone and DHT are responsible for your masculine characteristics. Carrying around excess fat also increases estrogen production. Estrogen is a hormone men want to keep under control. It is associated with a hormone that attributes to feminine characteristics.

Want to increase your testosterone levels? Or maybe you want to rediscover your libido. Then its time to lose some of that excess body fat.

In this post I will discuss 4 ways being obese is doing harm to your testosterone levels and hopefully, it might give you some more motivation to burn some of that excess fat away.

1: Aromatase Enzyme activity is increased by fat mass

Aromatase enzyme is the enzyme responsible for converting male hormones into female hormones. For example the conversion of testosterone into estrogen.

What does this enzyme have to do with being obese? Well, that is because the Aromatase Enzyme is basically stored in your fat cells mainly located in your torso area.

This  means the higher your fat percentage is the greater aromatase activity will be. It is also known that Aromatase activity increases with age so aging men need to pay more attention to their fat percentage. A decrease in your testosterone levels will also increase the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease.

2: Fat Belly diminishes DHT

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is a hormone (androgen)  that stimulates the development of male characteristics. The hormone is created when testosterone is converted into a new form, DHT. DHT is not something that you want to reduce or eliminate in the body.

Another importance of DHT is that it is shown to have the ability directly block the production of estrogen by inhibiting the activity of the aromatase enzyme.

Now you have a better understanding of this vital androgen lets discuss one of the more popular studies done on DHT. Canadian Researchers from the Laval University discovered that enzymes located in adipose tissue (fat mass) literally inhibits DHT, breaking it down into a less potent byproduct. The study proved that the more fat a man has the greater chances active DHT is of being neutralized.

3: Obese People Have High Baseline Leptin

Leptin is a hormone that is produced by the body’s fat cells and is a “satiety hormone” that helps to regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.

In simple terms, Leptin sends signals to the brain to prevent you from overeating. Imagine leptin as the hormone that protects you from overeating and obesity.

In obesity, a decreased sensitivity to leptin occurs, resulting in an inability to detect satiety despite high energy stores(1).

 Too much or too little can be detrimental.  Recent studies with obese and non-obese humans demonstrated a strong positive correlation between serum leptin concentrations with the percentage of body fat.

Whats interesting is that when testosterone increases, leptin decreases (studystudystudy ). This is another great motivator to reduce excess body weight.

In summary, leptin is a vital hormone that is produced by the fat cells in your body and has a strong relation to obesity and testosterone.

One easy way to reduce baseline leptins, boost testosterone and lose weight all at the same time is by fasting (study). Note: For an introduction of the benefits of fasting I highly recommended the book eat stop eat.

4: High cortisol levels are associated with obesity

Cortisol production is testosterones number one enemy. When the stress hormone Cortisol rises testosterone production levels come to a halt. This is because while the body is in a high-stress mode/survival mode production of sexual hormones such as testosterone are no longer an important priority.

Studies have proven there is a link between abdominal obesity and cortisol levels.

  • Research has shown that obese people may experience more stress possibly oxidative stress inside the body.

  • This study shows that people with higher waist to hip ratios excretes higher amount of cortisol.

In Summary

So as you can see being obese has many negative impacts on your hormones especially testosterone production. Obesity increases cortisol, leptin baseline, Aromatase Enzyme activity and decreases DHT production. This combination of factors makes a disastrous cocktail that can dramatically decrease testosterone levels.




(1):  Pan H, Guo J, Su Z (May 2014). “Advances in understanding the interrelations between leptin resistance and obesity”. Physiology & Behavior. 130: 157–169. PMID 24726399. doi:10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.04.003.